Rugged waterproof cameras with excellent image quality
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Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Panasonic GPS on 04/02/2013 07:03:16 MDT Print View

Does the camera actually display your location on internal maps, or does it simply log your location?

In other words, can the camera be used as a gps like a smartphone?

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - M

Locale: 40°N,-105°W-ish
Re: Panasonic GPS on 04/02/2013 07:06:40 MDT Print View

Uh-oh, I hear feature creep entering the artist formerly known as T-Funk's wishlist.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Panasonic GPS on 04/02/2013 07:19:47 MDT Print View

LOL! :)

I know not ever to 100% rely on such features, but it'd be a nice thing to have.

Martin RJ Carpenter
(MartinCarpenter) - F
Think of the battery! on 04/02/2013 08:36:25 MDT Print View

I'm not sure if it would be :) Grid refs for emergency maybe. Some of the specs seem to mention a compass....

I'm basically very much with Joe, except using (I believe) an FT1 as that's what there was when I broke my previous one. That was an noticeable upgrade, as I'd imagine whatever I get when this one finally dies probably will be.

I've been sticking all my photos, good/bad/repeated due to laziness!, up on picassa so here's a couple of representative albums of point and shoot with this sort of camera on intelligent auto mode:
https://picasaweb.google.com/117787604334097197723/LakesOct2012
https://picasaweb.google.com/117787604334097197723/TindaleFellSept2012

That Lake District trip was the sort of changable weather (very heavy, quite frequent, very short showers) that makes some sort of water resistant camera rather useful.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Got the TG-2 on 04/05/2013 20:16:01 MDT Print View

So I picked up the Olympus TG-2. Mostly because I'm impatient. :)

I've been comparing images with my Canon SX210, and I must say, the Oly is putting out much better photos. Everything is clear, crisp, and colors are rich, but not over saturated. It doesn't have the zoom that the Canon does, but the macro is ridiculous, the low light capabilites are much better, and the high speed video (240 fps) is cool to play with. Want a clear, slow motion video? This will do it.

No, it's not DSLR quality, and it probably isn't on par with other point and shoots with larger sensors (example: Canon S110), but this is a very noticeable step up from my current camera, and I don't have to worry about the elements, especially on my packrafting trips.

The stronger GPS capabilities of the Panasonic TS5 still intrigue me (apparently you can see your location on a map on the camera). I've got 15 days to return the Oly... ;)

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 05/28/2013 07:41:12 MDT Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/08/2013 19:03:16 MDT.

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V)

Locale: Orlando FL
reviews on 09/10/2013 21:41:00 MDT Print View

If you trust DPReview they just did a big comparison of the top Rugged waterproof cameras, and they panned the image quality on virtually every one of them.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/2013-waterproof-roundup

I'm in agreement that the lens quality matters most. Big megapixels is marketing mostly.
You can't have a quality lens on a tiny camera. No free lunch.

The Olympus OM body is weatherproof but not submersible, not light weight, and not cheap.
But the image quality is there, with proper lens selection for the occasion.

Edited by Diablo-V on 09/11/2013 05:41:32 MDT.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: reviews on 09/11/2013 09:52:48 MDT Print View

Of course the Oly is submersible. To 15 meters.

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V)

Locale: Orlando FL
Olympus on 09/11/2013 10:36:51 MDT Print View

" Of course the Oly is submersible. To 15 meters."
I did not see submersible anywhere for the OM-D E-M5 in the specs.
It is water/splashproof, but perhaps we were not thinking of the same camera.
It is 15+ oz without the lens and has an available 12-50mm weather sealed lens available. $900 body only or about 1300 with that lens.
It would take pro-level shots, but so would a few other models in that weight category.
I have a Lumix G2 which is not waterproof so if I upgrade I will have to stick with the Leica lenses and get the GH3 body which is weather sealed (and VERY expensive).
Then I would need the special weather sealed wide angle lens at about $899.
Still too heavy though, which is why I went down this same road as the OP -looking for a good pocket cam to save weight.

If you are not trying to get 8X10 enlargements with high detail, if you will be doing mostly snapshot, facebook, smaller prints , then get the Panasonic TS5D.

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-TS5D-Digital-Camera-Intelligent/dp/B00ATE7UUK

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
TG-2 on 09/11/2013 10:43:00 MDT Print View

The Olympus TG-2 is their waterproof tough camera, not the OM.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Olympus on 09/11/2013 23:01:28 MDT Print View

I thought you were talking about the TG-2, sorry.

I own the OM-D, and you're right, it is not submersible. But it does great in the rain and as long as you have one of the weatherproofed lenses, it does well getting wet. It wasn't meant to be submersed. (unless you get the waterproof housing)

And for what it can do, I don't think it is expensive at all. It's basically a high quality DSLR equivalent with micro-four thirds sensor. A pocket cam doesn't even remotely compare in quality of images or control. It may not be as light as a pocket cam, but it is half the weight of a typical DSLR, very compact, and gives you similar quality to a DSLR. After all the different digital cameras I've used over the years after my earlier love affair with manual film cameras, it is the first camera that has brought back the joy of getting out there and losing yourself in taking photos. I hated the slow focusing, slow reading, terrible low-light abilities, fast battery drain, LED screen viewing, clumsiness of all my compact digicams (though I still very much love my Ricoh GXR, in terms of stunning image quality and absolutely beautiful UI). The size and ability of the OM-D is the perfect compromise.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Rugged waterproof cameras with excellent image quality on 09/12/2013 11:39:46 MDT Print View

Haven't followed this thread, but did anyone mention using a fully waterproof case with a high-quality camera? I just purchased a Sony RX-100 and hope to get a waterproof case when the prices drops (currently over $300, I'm willing to spend $150).

(Edit: I now see the Meikon for as low as $170...getting close...)

Edited by ewolin on 09/13/2013 11:16:22 MDT.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: RE: Rugged waterproof cameras with excellent image quality on 09/12/2013 11:51:05 MDT Print View

" I just purchased a Sony RX-100 and hope to get a waterproof case"

I have that camera and purchased a Chinese made case marked Meikon (or something similar). Was skeptical when ordering, but it has been excellent. It's well made and all the functions work well - though I mainly just set the camera in automatic mode when snorkeling with it.

Obviously it's quite a bit bulkier than the RX100 w/out a case, but you have a fully waterproof set up at about the same size as a DSLR.

For images on par with the ruggedized point and shoot cameras I just wrap my iphone in a lifeproof case.